Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review

Here's my annual review.  I probably need to find some new questions for next year - some of them I've answered the same way for the past several years.

1. What did you do in 2014 that you'd never done before?
Go to Niagara Falls.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't think I've ever made a resolution and kept it so I will probably not kid myself by making some for this year.  I still need to lose weight - maybe I'll finally come through on that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nope - all my friends and family are fairly old.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully, no.  

5. What countries did you visit?
I saw Canada from the US side of Niagara Falls - does that count?  We didn't get passports so we couldn't go across.

6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2014?
Still would like to have a library assistant.

7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
July 12 - the day I married Matt.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Marrying Matt.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Can't think of any major failures this year.  Perhaps letting the garage get out of control?

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Got an eye infection on my honeymoon.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Though it was originally a wedding gift, I ended up buying a different version of the same thing - a gate for the top of the stairs.  The one I got as a wedding present didn't quite fit.  The second one, the dogs tried to chew through it (as it was wooden).  Regardless - it does work to keep the dogs downstairs when we are gone.  

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband and my son are still amazing.  

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Matt’s mother - still.  I had hope when we got a note that said "Congratulations and best wishes to you both" shortly after he told her we were getting married.  We did send her an invitation to the wedding and she did not come.  She didn't even acknowledge with a card or gift or anything.  I had Matt send her a framed picture of us at the wedding for Christmas - still waiting to see if she will acknowledge the fact that her son did get married.  

14. Where did most of your money go?
The wedding - turned out to be more expensive than originally planned - go figure!  Just when I got a loan to pay it off, I get hit with the cost of surgery for my cat.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Getting married - what else?

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Happy - by Pharrell Williams

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
happier or sadder? Happier – I got married!
- richer or poorer? Poorer - wedding costs and surgery for Lucy
- thinner or fatter? Definitely fatter - can't fit into what used to be my loose pants - time to do something about that I guess.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Reading - didn't meet my good reads goal this year.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Eating - still.

20. How did you spend the holidays?
New Years (2014) – with Matt at home since the party we planned to attend seemed to get called off.
Valentine’s Day – with Matt at home - grilled steaks and watched tv.
Easter – with Matt - can't even remember what church we went to this year.
4th of July – with Matt – cooked out on the grill and then just hung o ut at home.
Thanksgiving – Just Matt and I - we went out to eat at Fogo de Chao
Christmas - spent the weekend before Christmas in Austin with family; spent the day at home with Matt and Josh and then went to the movies.

21. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Still in love with Matt.

22. How many one-night stands?
Do I have to answer this question every year?  I'm a married woman!

23. What was your favorite TV program?
Big Bang Theory is still a favorite.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Nope - still like everyone I know.

25. What was the best book you read?
I didn't meet my Good Reads goal, but I did read 38 books this year.  Nothing major stood out but I did like John Green's Paper Towns and I found the book A Thousand Lives about the Jonestown massacre interesting.  Of course I still re-read the Harry Potter series each year.

26. What was your favorite film of this year?
Into the Woods was good though slightly disappointing.  I also enjoyed Mockingjay though I didn't really care for the book itself - at least the way it ended.  I guess that will have to wait for the next movie.  Matt and I also saw Birdman which was just weird.

27. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I'm going to have to delete this question next year - nothing changes - I wear whatever fits these days.

28. Whom did you miss?
Miss seeing my dad I guess.  I keep trying to get him to come here to visit, but haven't been successful yet.  I also haven't seen my sister in over a year either.

29. Who was the best new person you met?
Some of Matt's family - a cousin and uncle who we met earlier in the spring and they also came to wedding this summer.

30. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.
Don't trust the dogs when you're gone.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Post Christmas Post

Let’s see – for Christmas, I got a cold.  I am sure I have my cousin’s kids to thank for that one.  I started feeling icky on Christmas eve and have stayed in bed mostly the past three days.  Matt and I did go to church on Christmas day and then I took a nap.  We went to see Into the Woods late in the afternoon.  I enjoyed it, but I was back in bed shortly thereafter.  Oh, I did make some tortilla soup.  It was my first attempt and I think it turned out fairly well.  It was really easy to make in the crockpot. 

Actually I did get more than a cold.  I already got the tv for the bedroom and Matt also ordered me a chromebook, but it won’t be available for pickup until this evening.  I got a Kohl’s gift card and Josh got me a cool Scrabble message center, Sailor Jerry Rum, and a dinner and a movie gift card.  My aunt and uncle gave Matt and I cash as well. 

Someone asked about the stray dog I took in – I did find her a home.  After I put up the flyers, a guy had called and said that she had been hanging out at his place earlier in the week and that if she didn’t belong to anyone, that he would take her. He picked her up a couple of days later.  He has kids so I think she’ll be in a good place and get a lot of attention. 

I got Matt tickets to the Spurs game tomorrow night so I guess I need to get well by then.  I’m fine as long as I’m asleep.  I guess it’s a good excuse to take a lot of naps. 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Are you ready for Christmas?

My shopping is done.  I bought the last of it online today (an Amazon gift card for Josh).  Everything else is wrapped and under the mini tree.  I opted for a small 3 foot tree on top of a table this year.  I figured that Angie would have eaten the ornaments (and tree).  I got a new gate for the top of the stairs since Mollie figured out how to open the other one.  I thought it was a really good choice.  It was more secure, had a wider opening, would stay open if desired and looked nicer than the other gate.  I set it up last week and it worked great all week.  We went out of town this weekend and when I got back, I discovered that Angie (most likely) had tried to eat her way through it as the main part is made of wood.  Luckily she didn’t succeed, but now it doesn’t look as nice.  It is still functional, but I’m very irritated with her. 

We went to Austin this weekend to meet up with my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins.  We headed up Friday evening and came home this morning.  My cousin works at a Hampton Inn and we got a rate of $29 a night.  We went to a musical of A Christmas Carol on Saturday night.  It was… interesting.  It incorporated a lot of jazzed up Christmas songs and pop music – kind of like Moulin Rouge.  Josh didn’t care for the music.  The music was ok, but I thought the performers were very talented. 

On Sunday afternoon we went to see the one man show performing “This Wonderful Life” which was basically a performance of “It’s a Wonderful Life” by a single performer.  I saw it last year and enjoyed it again this year.  Josh liked this show much better than the one the night before.  After that, we headed to my cousin’s apartment for Christmas dinner with the family.  It was a bit crowded – a one bedroom apartment with 11 people, but it was nice to hang out with everyone. 

Matt had to head back early this morning at 6:00 a.m., but Josh and I slept in and didn’t leave until around 9:30.  I’m making spaghetti for dinner tonight.  I guess I tend to cook more when Josh is home visiting. 

Our Christmas plans are to have steaks for lunch and then go see Into the Woods at the movie theater.  Matt probably wants to go to midnight Mass, but I think I’d rather just go on Christmas morning. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Call me Sucker

So when I got home from work yesterday, there was a dog in the middle of the street.  I opened the garage and pulled in and the dog came up the driveway.  She came right to me and was very friendly.  She didn’t have a collar so of course I can’t just say “hi” and let her be on her way.  She came into the garage so I let her in the laundry room and gave her some food.  She scarfed it down.  She isn’t really thin, but she was obviously hungry.  I let Mollie and Angie meet her and they seemed ok with her.  So she stayed the night and I put up flyers on the postal boxes this morning to see if she belonged to anyone.  So far nobody has called.  Of course this means that we may be keeping her… unless I can find another home for her.  She is slightly bigger than Angie and they seem to enjoy playing together. Mollie just gets jealous and barks. 

So here’s a picture and video for you.  Any name ideas in case she stays?


Thursday, December 04, 2014

Still here

Our Thanksgiving was uneventful.  We went to Fogo de Chao for dinner.  Food was good and filling, but it was kind of disappointing to not have anything for leftovers.  Matt bought one of my Christmas presents early.  He got me a new 40 inch tv for the bedroom.  We then had an adventure trying to find a new tv stand for it.  We got the tv discounted at Best Buy because it was an open box.  We discovered that the stand was broken.  Instead of taking it back, we decided to get a new tv stand so we could mount it.  I found one I liked at Walmart but couldn’t find any in stock.  We tried three other Walmarts that night but couldn’t find any.  I looked online and it showed that my local Walmart should have had some.  We went back the next day and found a manager but he said that in spite of what it indicated online, he didn’t have any.  We took a chance on driving up to Austin to find one and as luck would have it, we found it.  It was even cheaper than the online price.  So now I have a nice new Samsung Smart TV nicely mounted in my bedroom.  I hardly left the room all weekend. 

I still have to get Matt’s big present.  I’ll probably go to Best Buy and get it tomorrow so he can have it early as well.  I still have some other things that he can open during Christmas.  I have a couple of things to order from Amazon for Josh, but most of my shopping is done. 

We haven’t put up the tree yet.  It’s going to be a busy weekend with Matt playing in a Scrabble tournament and me playing in a band concert.  I’m kind of worried about putting the tree up with Angie around.  I might have to wait until just before Christmas when I’m officially on vacation so I can make sure she doesn’t eat it or the ornaments. 

Work has been busy.  I spent most of today really cleaning my library as I will have visiting librarians at it tomorrow.  I’m helping them work on their wiki pages.  I’m glad it’s Friday though.  My library has been freezing all week.  Today I wore long johns and some layers which made it somewhat bearable.  I’m not sure why the district can’t seem to heat our building.  The temperature inside today was 62.5 and it was warmer outside. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Catching Up

Sorry, I’ve been away so long.  Life gets in the way sometimes.  Let me try to catch you up:

Lucy got her kitty cast off today and is hopefully done with vet visits.  Unfortunately, it’s driving her crazy at the moment… I bet it’s very itchy and sore.  The vet said she probably wouldn’t put any weight on it for a while and she would be grooming like crazy.  That’s pretty much it, but she growls from time to time because I’m sure it feels weird and still hurts. 

I went Christmas Shopping yesterday and got a good portion of it done.  I’ll finish most of it by tomorrow – anything else after that will probably be bought online.  Josh hasn’t been very helpful with suggestions.  Matt wanted some really expensive weights, but I think he’ll be happy with the Bose sound box that he wants.  I also got him tickets to a Spurs game. 

We got our library shirts last week and it’s been a bit of a pain to get the shirts to everyone since we no longer have mandatory meetings once a month. 

We might have won the war against the mice.  I ordered sticky traps on Amazon and they have worked under the sink, in the attic, and behind the dryer.  I got down to one of the other enclosed snap traps and mice had been getting the nut or whatever out of it without setting it off.  For the past two days, the treat has still been in there and I haven’t seen any new droppings so I’m hoping we got them all. 

For Thanksgiving Matt and I are going to Fogo De Chao for dinner.  This nice thing about living in a big city is that I can make reservations in advance for several different restaurants. 

We went to Maggiano’s on Saturday and got rear-ended when trying to find parking.  Luckily the guy didn’t take off and we got his insurance information.  We were in Matt’s car when it happened.   

Saturday, November 08, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Birthday Edition

It’s not my birthday yet but Monday is the big day.  I can’t believe I’m turning 45.  Sometimes I don’t feel that old – then again, some days I feel every bit that age.  Matt and I are going to a fancy steakhouse for dinner on Sunday evening.  We have a $200 gift card to use at the restaurant.  I told him, however, it can’t substitute as my present.  I told him at the Scrabble tournament a few weeks ago that I’d like to have my own custom board.  I guess I’ll see if he comes through with it.         

Our Halloween date was nice.  I was surprised at the dinner that it was a good sized steak and not a little 6 oz.  I didn’t see and ghosts on the tour, but the stories were interesting.            

We are slowly getting rid of the mice.  The sticky glue traps seem to work well, but it’s kind of icky dealing with not yet dead mice on them.  That’s where Matt comes in.  I had some other plastic traps that worked great, but the new ones I got haven’t worked at all.  They have easily walked in and eaten the peanut butter without springing the trap.  There have been suggestions to wedge a nut in the trap so they have to work harder to get it out – I guess I’ll see if that works.          
My dad isn’t coming during Thanksgiving.  He “says” that they will try to come for a long weekend before Christmas, but I won’t believe it until I see it.  I’ve lived here for over three years now and he hasn’t been to visit yet.  Even my aunt an uncle have been here once a year.       

I really want a new computer.  I know I’ve said that before.  This one just hangs randomly from time to time.  It’s 4 and 1/2 years old  which is pretty old for a laptop I think.  Usually the screen goes out by now, but I’ve been pretty lucky I guess.  I’d really like to have an external hard wireless hard drive as well.  Maybe it’s something I can get for Christmas.       

So Matt and I are on our own for Thanksgiving.  I’m not sure what we are going to do.  It’s kind of pointless to make a turkey I think.  I guess I’ll check and see which restaurants might be open on Thanksgiving.  We might end up having Sonic or something.     

I had a somewhat productive morning today.   I made myself get up earlier than I wanted to so I could clean out my car.  I then took it to the tire shop to have the tires rotated and balanced.  The guy tried to talk me into getting new tires today, but I said no.  I know they are getting close to the end of their life, but I think there’s a few more miles to go before I have to replace them.  After that, I stopped for a quick lunch and then headed to the bank before it closed at 1:00.  I had to deposit a bunch of checks from librarians paying me for their shirts I’m ordering.  Now I need to pay off the amount charged to my credit card.  I’m still waiting for a few more checks and the money from paypal appearing in my checking account. 

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Friday, October 31, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Happy Halloween

My desk is finally clean at work.  All that means though is that I moved piles of stuff out of sight.  Most of it ended up in the office that I don’t really use.  My library facilitator might be stopping by tomorrow so I want the library to look good.       

Matt and I are going on our Halloween date tonight.  I think it will be a fun date.  We going to stop at the Menger bar for drinks before dinner.          

I have a mouse problem in my house.  I got some traps but not the kind that snaps; they are the kind where the mouse is trapped inside it.  I got some glue traps a while back and didn’t think they worked, but I found one with three dead mice stuck on it.  I almost waited for Matt to get home to dispose of it, but I made myself do it.  I’m sure they’re getting in through the pet door, but that’s not something I can get rid of.  If I can’t eliminate the problem myself, I guess I’ll call a pest control company.       
My dad and his wife might be coming to San Antonio for Thanksgiving.  I won’t believe it until he pulls up in the driveway, but it will be nice if he can come.  Josh says he and his roommates already have plans.  I won’t get to see Josh until Christmas break probably.  I guess if my dad comes, we’ll have to make a turkey dinner and everything.       

I won’t get to see Josh on our birthday either.  I got him a Buffalo Wild Wings gift card that I’ll put in the mail sometime this week.  Can you believe that he will be 24?  Am I old enough to have a 24 year old?     

It looks like I might be able to take some of my Scrabble students to a tournament in Dallas in the spring.  I have to work through a lot of logistics, but I think it will be a good experience for them.   

Now that Big Bang Theory has moved to Thursday nights, I have the dilemma of staying home and watching it or going to Scrabble club.  I opted to stay home on Thursday, but I still missed it because I was cleaning out my closet.  Thankfully it was recorded on my DVR.  So I guess I really don’t have the dilemma with the DVR, but I wasn’t in the mood for Scrabble tonight.  
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Sunday, October 26, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Weekend edition

My desk is still a mess at work.  Friday was a half day for students with the afternoon a work day for the staff.  I caught up on the Scrabble club statistics.  I had some hired help this week so now I have all the extra textbooks packed up and a list of computer equipment that I need to get rid of.     

I took on the task of trying to get library shirts ordered for the librarians in the district.  I created the design several months ago but nothing was done to get them ordered.  Another librarian asked about ordering them earlier this week so I got an updated quote from the company.  Now we’re within about a dozen shirts of getting a price break so I’m waiting to see if we get there.  I hadn’t heard from about 21 schools so I’d think we could get to that number.        

I got a call at school on Monday from my next door neighbor.  I was kind of surprised because she had to remember me telling her where I worked when I first moved in.  She called to tell me that one of our front windows was wide open.  I didn’t realize it and Matt wasn’t home.  I called him and he headed home to take care of it.  We had company last weekend and they must have opened it to be more comfortable, but never closed it.       
Matt and I are thinking about going to a Scrabble tournament in New Orleans in January.  I think it would be cool to be able to go visit again as an adult.  The first time I went, I was only 19 and was frankly shocked by all the stuff I saw in the French Quarter.  The only thing is that it would be a fairly expensive trip.     

Matt and I made Halloween plans so we don’t have to deal with trick or treaters in the neighborhood.  We are going to have dinner at the Menger Hotel and then a ghost tour afterward.     

My yearly book challenge on Good Reads is going slowly.  I’m still 13 books behind.  I did read the newest JK Rowling book and I’m trying to read a couple of other library books on my Kindle – they just aren’t grabbing me though.      

Josh made it easy for me by telling me what he wanted for his birthday.  He wants a new Queen album that’s coming out the day after his birthday.  I already ordered it on Amazon for him.  I’ll also send him a card and a restaurant gift card.  I finally told Matt what I’d like for my birthday as well.  While at the tournament last weekend I decided I’d like to have my own Scrabble board.  I sent him links of the boards I liked.  Maybe he will come through.  

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Too busy for a quick takes

Last Friday was way too busy for a quick takes post.  We spent  last week full of preparations for company arriving.  On Friday we went to dinner and then had to go buy a new lawn mower since Matt fried mine.  He forgot to check the oil and the engine seized up.  Our guests arrived Friday evening and then we all competed in the Scrabble tournament on Saturday and Sunday.  Matt did fairly well coming in 4th place in his division.  I basically sucked coming in 12th out of 15.  To top it all off, I either developed a cold or had major allergies over the weekend.  I went to bed absolutely miserable Sunday night.  I took two benadryl when I usually only take one.  At least it seemed to help and I was able to sleep. 

I’ve been trying to clean my desk at work all week and it’s just not happening.  I stayed late tonight to catch up on grading for my Scrabble class.  I haven’t entered stats for the club in three weeks so I got started on it as well.  My desk is still a mess, however.  Tomorrow is a half day for students with an afternoon workday for everyone else. 

I’ll try to post a quick takes for this week if I get a chance – it might not be until the weekend though.

Friday, October 10, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Is it already October?

Lucy was supposed to get her cast off this week, but she’s developed an infection and the wound is not healing like its supposed to.  So instead of getting cheaper, it’s getting more expensive – having to pay for a culture and antibiotics and the wrap change.  It probably bothers me more than it does Lucy, but I’m anxious for all of this to be done.   

I really should start doing some studying for the upcoming Scrabble tournament I’m going to be in.  I don’t want to come into second to last place again.        

Matt and I have to get the house clean and hang up all our wedding stuff this weekend.  We have company coming to stay with us.  They are fellow Scrabble players and one of them gave us a wedding gift that we need to display.  I cleaned the kitchen last weekend, but need to mop.     
I’m irritated with the pest control company to doesn’t seem to want to cancel my contract that has been fulfilled.  Unfortunately, I never find time to call them during the day.  I will have to make a point to call them on Monday.  I need to use that money to pay of the credit card that is now charged up from Lucy’s vet bills.   

I finally submitted my Library book order that I’ve worked on for almost a month now.  I hope that it gets approved quickly.  It’s always exciting to get new books.   

Another one of my high school classmates passed away this week.  It seems that 45 is much too young.  I think we now have about a dozen classmates out of 318 that have died.     

My birthday (and Josh’s) is a month away. I have no idea what to get him.  I’ll probably just get him a gift card as usual.  It’s something he can always use.  I don’t know what I want.  I think Matt and I going to use our really nice steakhouse gift card.       

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Friday, October 03, 2014

7 Quick Takes – TGIF

The annual Scholastic Book Fair has been taking place in my library all week.  Unlike most librarians, I’m not the one putting it on.  All I do is allow it to take place in the library.  In return I generally get some books via Scholastic dollars. It has been a pain this week.  Too many kids in the library at once.  I had to move tables around so that Scrabble club could meet.  I’m glad that it’s over and that I can get back to somewhat normal operations next week.   

So the new haircut seems to be a big hit.  I got over 90 likes on Facebook and everyone at work seems to like it   It’s easier to manage though it does take more time to style since I’ve been straightening it.  This weekend I’ll try leaving it curly and see how it looks.      

I decided not to play in the next band concert.  They kept changing the date, but I decided to not add pressure to the weekend that I’ll be playing in the state Scrabble tournament.  I don’t think I’m really ready for the tournament.  I might try a little studying in the next couple of weeks, but won’t worry too much about it.    
I think I’m going to have to bite the bullet and figure a way to get a new computer.  The color seems to be going out on this one.  It’s past its warranty date so I can’t really see the point it paying for it to be fixed when it would cost as much to get a new computer.  Not sure what I want, but it doesn’t need to be really fancy.  I just need something that can run photoshop which would be the most memory intensive program I use.   

Matt and I went to dinner at Cheddar’s tonight.  The food was really good.  I brought half of it home for lunch tomorrow.  Now I’m stuffed and exhausted.  I think it will be an early night for me.   

I’ve been working on my large book orders over the past few weeks and I’m frustrated by all the mixed messages I’ve been getting.  I deleted a bunch of books that I now can add again, but of course I don’t remember what they were.  I saved a few titles, but it’s frustrating to have the rules change constantly.   

I’m glad that October is here and we’re not having scorching hot days any more, but something in the air is causing my allergies to flare up every evening.  It’s a good thing I have the economy sized bottle of benadryl.  One usually does the trick.     

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hair today…gone tomorrow

hair pic So I had eight inches of hair cut off today.  I’m donating the braid to Children with Hair Loss.  It feels kind of weird.  I’m so used to having to move hair out of the way when I do stuff.  It is almost a habit.  It is much lighter.  Though I probably won’t always straighten it, I like that it seems like it will be easy to manage. 

I wanted to grow my hair out mostly for the wedding – which I did.  Now that it is over, my long hair was driving me crazy.  I rarely did anything with it other than put some mousse in it and go.  Since it was finally long enough to donate, I decided to go ahead and get it cut.  My hair grows pretty fast so if I want to do it again, I’ll be able to in another three years or so. 

Unfortunately on the way to the salon I got pulled over and received a speeding ticket.  I guess it was a pretty expensive hair cut.  I will probably take defensive driving to have it dismissed, but that will be a pain in the ass.  But it’s my fault.  I’ll certainly be more careful next time. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Late Again

School has been busy.  I focused a lot on working on my library book order this week.  I found that if I work on my order from two different vendors at the same time, it is easier to find books that I need.  Many books are offered by both of the major vendors, but sometimes there’s a nice surprise.  I’m also trying ensure that I don’t duplicate books.  I have about $6500 to spend this year.   

Lucy has another week and a half of being in her kitty cast.  I think she’s had enough of it.  Even when she does get it off and can hopefully walk normally, she may never leave my closet.  I think that has become her new home.  She’s not very keen on coming out of it much.  I do want to get her little box out of there though.    

It may be time for me to get a new computer.  My computer randomly just hangs.  Mouse doesn’t move.  Can’t click anything.  Can’t open task manager.  It stays that way for a few minutes and then it goes back to normal.  I’ve found, however, it usually happens when I’m using Chrome.  I’m going to try using Firefox for a few days and see if that makes a difference.  The computer is four years old.  Unfortunately I don’t have the money to buy a new computer right now.  It doesn’t mean I don’t want one though.  I’ve also had an issue with losing the wireless signal.  The only thing that fixes it is unplugging both the router and the modem.  I don’t know if it’s a computer issue or a modem/router issue.   
I found Matt’s computer.  I thought I put it in a special place, but it wasn’t all that special.  It was in the living room in the corner on an empty CD stand.  I remember moving it out of the way when cleaning at one point and so now Matt is back online – at least at home.  He does check email at work and on his phone, but now he can enter all his coke points from the caps he’s saved.  Maybe he’ll win us something really cool.   

I grudgingly went to Scrabble club on Thursday.  I guess it was good that I did.  I won 2 and a half games.  The half is because Matt played the first half of it.  I beat one of the players that I rarely ever beat.  One of the new people almost beat me.  I only won because I bingoed out.  Last night we went to a friend’s house to play Scrabble again.  I lost all three games.  At least the last game was competitive and I had three bingos and scored over 400 points.  I finally drew some decent tiles.   

I’m trying to get some reading done.  I’m still 11 books behind on my Good Reads challenge for the year.  I said I’d read 52 books and I’ve only read 27 so far.  I downloaded a few more on my Kindle.  I’m just not really inspired yet.  Maybe I’ll get my book order in by November.  It’s like Christmas when I get new books for the library. 

Josh got rear-ended in Houston last weekend.  I guess it’s not a surprise and traffic generally sucks there.  Luckily it wasn’t his fault and the other company has already gotten him a rental car while his car is in the shop.   

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Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Same ol’

Today I’ll be gone from school as I’ll be attending a one day library conference.  For the past two years I’ve presented sessions, but I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to share this year.  It will be nice to go without worrying about taking all the stuff for presenting.
Lucy is still healing.  She gets her kitty cast changed once a week.  This week they put in extra padding so it’s more difficult for her to hobble on it.  
I’ve stayed late at school every day this week.  I thought that by becoming a librarian I wouldn’t have to do that very often.  It’s really stuff that I don’t have to do, but it’s nice to stay somewhat caught up.  I’ve been on a creative streak so I guess I should just go with it.  
Matt’s job is saved!  A lot of complaints kept coming in and miraculously the city found enough money to keep the department working its normal hours rather than cutting back to 20 hours a week.  At least Matt won’t be as worrisome now.  I do think, however, if another potential opportunity came up, he would consider it.  Just because it has gotten a reprieve twice now doesn’t mean it won’t be on the chopping block again next year. 
Scrabble club is slowly growing this year.  I didn’t have the overwhelming numbers like I did last year, but it’s been steady growth with a few new students almost daily.  My class has been going fairly well, but they didn’t do as well as I’d hoped on their test that they took today.  I think we’ll be doing a re-teach and retest next week.
I skipped Scrabble club tonight.  I feel kind of bad for not going, but I stayed at work until six and didn’t get home until 6:30.  I had to do a load of laundry so I’ll have something to wear tomorrow.  I’ve been feeling a little itchy so I took a benadryl.  I have to get up early to leave early enough to avoid heavy traffic. 
One of my readers asked the following questions: 
Which roller coaster is your favorite and why? How many times have you got off and got back in line to ride again?
I think my favorite coaster is still Millennium Force at Cedar Point.  It is really fast and I enjoy the overbanked turns.  Kumba is a close second, however.  I think the most I’ve ridden in a row is about 8 times at an ACE coaster event where I didn’t even have to get off the train.  One of the perks of going to official coaster events is the exclusive ride time you get before the park opens or after it closes. 
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sometime I amaze myself

Today I spent most of the day working on Scrabble class stuff.  I put together their first major test that they will be taking tomorrow.  The test is online in Moodle and I was able to incorporate created images of Scrabble boards for figuring out scores.  That wasn’t that impressive though it is pretty cool. 

I am, however, impressed with myself for creating a Google Form that my students will use to input their information on their score sheets.  That data is saved online and I can create charts to show their progress.  I also figured out how to export the data to another sheet where I show the entire class’ progress.  My biggest problem right now is figuring out how to get the exported charts to show the correct size after publishing them on my wiki page.  I can create an image, but I’m wanting to publish it where it updates itself every time they enter information. 

Now I have to spend the rest of the evening toying with it and see what I can figure out. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes – really quick

This week has gone by so fast that it didn’t really dawn on my that it was Friday until after I got home this evening and was catching up on other blogs.  Oh yeah, I guess I get to sleep in tomorrow.  

I made Lucy a very happy kitty tonight by bringing home some catnip.  I don’t know what kind of drug it to her, but she was going to town for a bit after I put it on her scratchy thing.

Work has been busy but good.  Scrabble class is going well.  They are taking their first major test next week.  I’m going to create it this week.  From now on, tests will be taken online… easier grading.

Matt and I went to Applebees for dinner.  My meal wasn’t very good but the perfect margarita was great as always.  I had the Honey Pepper Chicken with four cheese macaroni.  The chicken was fine, but I didn’t care for the taste of the macaroni. 

Today I’m hosting a teacher library orientation.  This is the first time I’ve been able to do this.  I’m offering snacks and coffee.  Hopefully that will get a few teachers to come.

Matt and I accidentally overslept earlier this week.  I’m not sure how that happened.  I’m pretty sure I set my alarm, but it didn’t seem to go off.  Matt usually gets up with no problem without an alarm.  I think the dogs are to blame because they were going crazy around 5 or 6 a.m. and Matt got up to let them downstairs.  He normally gets up at 7, but I noticed it was 7:24 at one point.  We both made it to work on time, but he had to skip breakfast.  I had to have coffee once I got to work.

I’ve lost Matt’s computer.  I think I put it up in a safe place before we went on our honeymoon, but now I can’t find where I put it.  I’m going to have to dig through the house tomorrow to see if I can find it.  It’s a very strange thing.  I have a great memory where I can remember birthdays of friends in junior high or useless movie facts, but I could probably hide Easter Eggs from myself.  
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Friday, September 05, 2014

7 Quick Takes – I’m Tired

We’ve survived a second week of school.  Amazingly the library will be ready to open to students on Monday.  I think that is the earliest I’ve opened it so far.  
I’ve been having some moments of genius this week.  I think I figured out a way that students can input their own Scrabble stats using google docs which will save me a lot of time.  I’ve also revamped some of my library wiki web page.  It’s been nice to be able to work without a lot of distractions this week.
Lucy got her cast changed again yesterday.  Matt took her this time.  For some reason it took a lot longer than it usually does.  She seems to be doing well still though they had to give her another round of antibiotics.
I thought I might be getting a cold yesterday, but I think it may have just been allergies.  I felt kind of blah and was sneezing.  I took a claritin and started feeling a little better in the afternoon.     
Today I’m hosting a teacher library orientation.  This is the first time I’ve been able to do this.  I’m offering snacks and coffee.  Hopefully that will get a few teachers to come.
We’ve started band rehearsals again.  It’s great to be playing again, but it is kind of exhausting.  Thankfully I’m no longer on the board or the band secretary – although I’m still doing some of the work.  The person that was going to be secretary suddenly resigned from the board and so I’m still sending out emails as needed.  But that’s it.  I’m drawing the line. 
Having the gate at the top of the stairs has been great to keep the dogs downstairs when I’m going during the day.  Unfortunately Angie is now eating the fence.  I’ve discovered parts of the fence on the kitchen floor.  I guess we’ll need to go to home depot this weekend and get stuff to fix it before she makes herself at home at the neighbor’s house.   
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Saturday, August 30, 2014

7 Quick Takes – A day late and a dollar short


--- 1 ---

It’s been a long, exhausting week.  I’m surviving, but I’m in bed by 10 every night.  It has been a productive week at work, but I still have a lot to accomplish by next week.  I met several librarians last week and did a session on creating and editing their wikis with them.  It went well and several of them are using some of my ideas such as an online calendar. 

--- 2 ---

Lucy seems to be doing well with her kitty cast.  She had it changed yesterday.  She has to have it changed every week.  Part of it started unraveling so I improvised with band-aids to keep it intact.  She has been staying my closet as she is supposed to be kept away from furniture where she might try to jump.   

--- 3 ---

Matt’s department where he works is getting hit again.  They tried to cut hours about six months ago, but after some backlash, it was delayed.  This time they notified the media first and then officially told the department.  Matt may start looking for another job soon.  The morale is waning there and people are getting shifted around.  When their current department manager retires, they will be down to just four people in the department that has to manage two large research areas.

--- 4 ---

I finally made it to the bank to have my name change done.  I had to wait an hour.  There used to be another branch a little closer to my house, but it shut down on August 1.  Thankfully I had my new copy of Mental Floss magazine to read while I waited.  I still need to call all my other credit card companies, but I’ll get to 

--- 5 ---

Matt and I went to see The Giver tonight.  I enjoyed it.  It has been a while since I read the book, but I really enjoyed it when I did. I recently read the rest of the books but I probably should re-read the original first.  Next on my list is to finish The Maze Runner.  I started it a few months ago, but never finished it.  I did read If I Stay and it’s in theaters right now.  Maybe I’ll go see it on my own some evening when Matt is playing Scrabble.   

--- 6 ---

I enjoy reading about my friends activities on facebook, but I get a little annoyed by all the political rants and some of the stupid shared posts that shows how gullible some people are.  The last is the one that mentions that a certain month has 5 Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and only happens every hundreds of years… blah, blah, blah.  Surely people realize that there are not an infinite number of calendars.  There’s really only 14 different yearly combinations.  The last time August had five Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays was just 6 years ago in 2008.   

--- 7 ---

Fiesta Texas is getting a new 4D coaster next summer!  I’ve been wanting to ride a 4D coaster since about 2003.  I desperately wanted to ride X2 at Magic Mountain but it was closed the times I was there.  People on facebook keep mentioning me in posts of the ride announcement.  Maybe they’ll have another commercial shoot that I can participate in.   

Monday, August 25, 2014

Another first day of school

I survived another first day of school.  It was relatively uneventful.  I pulled textbooks, moved things around the library, and worked on some Scrabble class lesson plans.  Matt brought me lunch today and helped me with some library stuff.  My Scrabble class went well.  I gave them a quiz to see how much they remembered about the rules and we did some practice scoring.  I then started them working on memorizing their two letter words.  I even assigned homework.  I guess I’m a pretty tough teacher to assign homework on the first day. 

I got home around 5:00 and forced myself to start my 5K training program.  I’m following the Biggest Loser plan with a few tweaks since I have 15 weeks until the event rather than 10. 

Lucy seems to be doing well in spite of her splint.  She is handling it well.  She doesn’t seem to mind being in my closet.  The vet said she needed to be in a confined area without furniture that she could climb on.  I take her back on Friday to have her splint redone. 

Matt and I went to a fancy restaurant for dinner last night.  It was a high dollar steakhouse.  I ordered my steak medium well because I like it hot throughout with just a touch of pink.  The steak I got was much more medium – it had a cool dark pink center.  I had to send it back and wait another 10 minutes to eat.  Matt was almost finished by the time I got my steak back.  They at least offered us a free dessert.  I was more impressed by the place that we went to in Buffalo. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lucy is Home!

Lucy’s surgery went well yesterday.  I picked her up this morning and she seems very happy to be home.  She was a little loopy earlier it seems – she couldn’t sit still, but she finally calmed down.  I’ve created her a place in my walk in closet for her to stay when I’m not home.  She has to be somewhere where she can’t jump on furniture.  She has a large cast on her leg but she doesn’t seem to mind it too much.  I have to go out and get some more kitty litter this afternoon.  My closet was a mess so I pulled everything out and now it’s all over my bedroom.  It gives me a reason to get my laundry done now. 

Matt and I are going to dinner at a fancy steakhouse tomorrow.  We are going to use one of the gift cards we got as a wedding gift.  School starts on Monday.  I guess I’m as ready as I can be.  I need to create a lesson plan for my Scrabble class for next week.  I also need to create a worksheet page.

Friday, August 22, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Before School Edition

My cat Lucy is having surgery today.  She hurt her foot last Wednesday but the incompetent vet that Matt took her too somehow missed the fact that she had a broken foot.  They took x-rays of everything but her foot, gave her some pain meds, and a diet supplement.  When he took her back on Tuesday, lo and behold, they x-rayed her foot and found the fracture.  They made a referral to a surgeon (which is the only decent thing they did).  It’s going to cost quite a bit of money, but she’s my baby and she needs to be able to walk again.   
It has been a busy week at work but I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things.  I have been sleeping much better after working all day.  We have several new staff members this year but most seem nice.  I hope they are able to handle the kids.   
I’m teaching a Scrabble class this year.  I’m trying to get a plan for teaching it.  I’m going to be writing my own curriculum.  I definitely want to incorporate a spelling rule of the week and some vocabulary instruction.  I also want them to do a research project as well.  
Matt and I are going to see The Eagles in concert in October.  I saw them with Mike back in 2010 and it was a great concert then.  I think it is awesome to live in an area where you can go to concerts like this.  Austin and Houston are fairly close and even Dallas isn’t that far. 
I am beginning to wonder if blogging is on its way out.  My friend Andrew has called it quits on his blog, which saddens me greatly, but I can somewhat empathize.  I haven’t been a very good blogger in the last couple of years, but I still enjoy reading other people’s blogs.  What I do like is being able to go back through my blog and figure out things that have happened.  I did that when I created my Scrabble board timeline of mine and Matt’s dating history.  Hardly anyone comments any more and I couldn’t even get seven people to ask questions for last week’s blog.  I’m just not sure at this point.   
I’m starting to get some of my name change stuff done, but I still have a lot of accounts to change.  I need a day off where I can sit and call all my creditors.  It was fairly easy to change it for the district but I’m having a difficult time updating outlook with my email. 
I need to start exercising.  I’ve gained a ton of weight this year and my clothes aren’t fitting well.  I was thinking about signing up for a 5K run that is taking place in February and see if I can work my way up to that by then.  I’m not a fan of walking/running, but I really need to do something.  I thought that maybe signing up would give me something to strive for – even if I walk most of the way.   
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Saturday, August 16, 2014

7 Quick Takes – Questions Answered

Sorry for being a day late – I started this yesterday after work, but then went out to a social thing with other librarians and then I was so exhausted, I went to bed early. 

--- 1 ---

From DK Zody: Where were you born and how did you end up in Texas?

I was actually the first person in my family that was born in Texas.  My parents and siblings were all born in Indiana.  They moved to Texas in 1968 and lived in Amarillo.  They moved to Perryton, TX where I was born in 1969.   We lived there for six years.  That was where I was hit by a car and broke my neck when I was four years old.  In 1976 we moved back to Amarillo.  I lived in or around Amarillo until I moved to San Antonio in 2011.  I still love living in San Antonio and wonder why I didn’t move here sooner!

--- 2 ---

LM asks: When/how did you become so interested in Scrabble?

I’ve always enjoyed word games.  I liked doing crossword puzzles as a kid.  In puzzle magazines, I liked doing the anagram magic squares.  Sometime in the mid 1990’s, I had a Scrabble game on CD that I played on the computer a lot.  The more I played, the better I got, but I’ve since learned a lot of other strategies from Matt.  I used to play my ex-husband, but he always accused me of cheating since I knew more words than him.  When I finally got an iPhone about 6 or 7 years ago, I played Scrabble on it quite a bit.  One of the reasons why I contacted Matt on was because his profile indicated that he liked playing Scrabble.  Once we started playing (and dating), he taught me a lot of strategies that has helped me play better.  I rarely played bingos before I met him.  Now I average one or two per game most of the time.  Before nationals last summer, I did some studying, but I’m not as dedicated as Matt is. 

--- 3 ---

From Mago:  If I have guests it would be very rude to "end" the evening at some point, like announcing that I'd want to go to bed now or such - it would be equal to throwing the guest(s) out. The guest is expected to say when he wants to leave.
Is this the same in the US ? Or is the host expected to say "thank you for your visit" first ? Who is expected to take initiative ?

I won’t claim to be an expert on etiquette, but I’ll offer my personal perspective on this scenario.  Most of the time, guests generally take the hint when it’s getting late and excuse themselves.  On the chance that a guest has overextended their stay, I would try to drop hints about the lateness of the hour by saying something like “I didn’t realize it had gotten so late” or “Wow, it’s midnight already?”  If by chance they haven’t taken the hint, I would say something like “I hate to cut the evening short, but I have to get up early tomorrow.”  Most people would take the hint by then and most are gracious about it. Now that I’m in my 40’s, it seems that most people my age are too tired to socialize past 11:00 p.m. anyway.   If by chance we’ve been drinking or the guest has a long drive ahead, I always offer to let them stay the night.  

--- 4 ---

Jan’s question: What shocked you about Matt when you two moved in together?

I’m not sure that anything in particular shocked me when he moved in since he had practically been living here for about six months before he actually made the move.  One of the things that did shock me during the move, however, was to realize how much of a messy hoarder he was.  When I was helping him pack and clean I found saved receipts from 2001.  Instead of dust bunnies under his bed, there were dust killer rabbits.  He still had pairs of pastel colored pants that haven’t been popular since about 1986.  The other thing that kind of shocked me was learning how bad his mother actually was when we got the cold response from her regarding a potential visit during Thanksgiving.  I thought perhaps he was exaggerating to some degree and I encouraged him to work on the communication with her.  I learned my lesson.  

--- 5 ---

That’s all the questions so I’ll give you few other updates.  I’m glad I survived my first week back with all the exciting inservice meetings (note sarcasm).  The library meetings weren’t too bad this year.  It seems we had a lot of down time.  Yesterday I helped most of the librarians with creating their wiki library pages. 

--- 6 ---

My cat Lucy has somehow hurt her leg/foot.  Matt took her to the vet for me on Thursday, but it seems they didn’t have any definitive answers.  They did give her some pain medication and will see her again  on Tuesday.  So far she’s been staying under the bed in the workout room.  I’ve put her food and litterbox in there and check on her every so often.  Today she limped out into the kitchen for a bit.  She’s pretty old, but has been in generally good health for her age.  She is still eating and seems fairly happy at the moment so I guess it’s just a wait and see if her foot gets better.   

--- 7 ---

Josh has been working at a radio station this summer as an intern.  He does weekly classical music programs and was interviewed for 35 minutes for a special on Holst’s The Planets.  It’s really pretty interesting, you should listen if you have free time this afternoon.   

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My feet hurt

Today was a faculty meeting at school but this afternoon I had to continue to run around and check the setup for all the classrooms.  It seems that every time I thought I had what I needed for a setup, I was missing something or it didn’t work.  I spent the last three days dealing with all the technology stuff that I didn’t get a chance to get some of my stuff done that I needed for my librarian meetings tomorrow.  I stayed late today and downloaded software and printed a bunch of stuff. 

I had leftovers for dinner tonight.  I picked up some brisket breakfast tacos this morning but only ate one of them for breakfast.  I want to change out of my work clothes and put pajamas on, but I have to go pick up Matt at the airport late tonight.  I guess I could change into sweats or something.  His flight was scheduled to get in around 10:45 but now it’s not getting in until 12:30.  So much for getting a good night’s sleep.

I thought about taking a nap, but I don’t think I could actually fall asleep at this point.  I think it would be worse to nap and then get up and then go to sleep again. 

Matt didn’t do as well as he would have liked at the tournament.  He was pretty discouraged when I talked to him.  At least he is looking forward to coming home.  I think he’ll take a break from Scrabble for a while.  He does this when he has a bad tournament, but he gets over it quickly. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Back to work

I didn’t want to get up this morning, but that is not a surprise.  I made it to school by 8:00.  I spent most of the day pulling out equipment and entering information in the computer.  It wasn’t very exciting, but it has to be done. 

After work I went by the credit union to talk to them about a loan I applied for online.  I was approved, but I wanted to change the term of the loan.  I was there about an hour, but I walked out with two cashiers checks to pay off my credit cards. 

I thought I was going to see my brother tonight.  They were in town going to Sea World, but he hasn’t returned any of my calls.  I finally went out and picked up some dinner at Sonic.  I thought of my friend Andrew while ordering.  I got the Asiago chicken club sandwich and a mini butterfinger blast. 

At least after getting up early and working all day, I should be able to get to sleep easily tonight.  I’m already feeling pretty tired and it’s not even 10 yet. 

Matt didn’t have a very good Scrabble day today.  He only won 2 games out of 7.  I hope he has a better day tomorrow.  He will be coming home late on Wednesday.  I’m ready for him to be home.  We rarely spend much time apart.

For those of you that submitted questions last week, I’ll answer them for this Friday’s 7 quick takes.  I could still use a few more questions if anyone is wondering anything that I haven’t covered in my blog in the past 10 years. 

Friday, August 08, 2014

7 Quick Takes - Honeymoon edition

I did plan to answer your questions this week, but I found that typing on a Kindle is more difficult than it seems. Your questions require a more in depth response so I'll post answers next week. Besides, I still need a few more questions from readers.

So we made it to Buffalo on Tuesday but I ended up going to an urgent care clinic after dinner. My left eye started to bother me on the plane and I realized that it wasn't going get better. Turns out that I have a corneal ulcer probably caused from wearing contacts again. I got some high powered antibiotic drops that have finally helped after three days.

We went to Niagara Falls on Wednesday and it was spectacular.  We took the Maid of the Mist boat tour and got some great pictures. I'll have to post them when I get back home.

It turns out that sometimes I'm really stupid. (Shhhh don't tell anyone.)  We bought discount Darien Lake tickets from a supermarket on Wednesday. We headed to the park early Thursday only to realize that I had forgotten the tickets at the hotel as soon as we pulled into the parking lot. We had to go all the way back to get them and it was about a 25 minute drive one way.

The theme park was ok but Matt couldn't ride the best coaster there because he was too tall. He was 2 inches taller than their maximum height allowed. After I rode it, I realized it was a precaution due to some parts where the coaster goes under the track and is a tight fit.

We ate at a very nice and fancy restaurant on Wednesday night. I've found that if you want a really good steak dinner, sometimes you have to splurge and pay for it. The service was outstanding and the food was amazing. The steak was cooked exactly right and very tender and flavorful. 

Matt registered for the tournament today. We ate at a good BBQ place for lunch and I had a drink with moonshine in it!   We are going to an opening reception tonight and then I will be heading back tomorrow evening.  I go back to work starting Monday.

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