Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Spay Day USA

Today is Spay Day USA, sponsored by the Humane Society of the U.S. If you or someone you know has a dog, cat or even a rabbit that's not spayed or neutered, consider a trip to the vet. There are lots of clinics around the country that perform both procedures at very low costs. There are so many unwanted puppies and kittens in our country, and not all of them turn out to be as lucky as these guys.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Best Calendar EVER!

This year I bought myself a page-a-day calendar for work. I wanted something that would make me smile everyday, so I bought the Bad Dog calendar. It is based on the Bad Dog book that came out a few years ago. Basically, they take a picture of a dog, give it a caption and give the dog a name and hobby. SO FUNNY! This one is the funniest yet. Enjoy!

am I old????

Today at work I was in the break room and someone was watching The Price is Right. After I got over the shock of the fact that this show is still on the air... with Bob Barker... I noticed that the game they were playing was "Then and Now" where they pick a year and you have to determine if the price of an item is today's price, or from that year. But the year was 1997. I know that was 10 years ago, but I feel like a bottle of Tylenol Cold and Flu should cost the same as it did in 1997. Then I thought about watching this show when I was a kid and I remembered the year for this game at the time was like 1976, which seemed like 100 years ago to me at the time. I don't know if this makes sense to anyone but me, but it made me feel old!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

pickin' & grinnin'... eventually

So about nine years ago, my parents bought me a guitar for Christmas. I was in college at the time and a lot of my friends were music majors, so I thought I needed learn to play an instrument (besides the bass drum, a la high school marching band). Well, nine years later, that guitar has moved with me about seven times, but I've never learned to play. So I decided that 2007 would be the year I'd learn and today I went to the guitar shop, had them tune it for me, bought a electronic tuner, an instructional DVD, and some picks. When I got home today, I popped in the DVD and got started. When I positioned my fingers to play my first chord, I suddenly remembered why I stopped trying to learn nine years ago... it hurts!!!!! Your fingertips have to build up a callous where you press down the strings, and when you don't have one, it's like pressing your fingers onto a dull razor. And then holding them there!! Plus my fingers are kind of big and I had a hard time fitting them all in and not hitting other strings.
The instructor suggested using liquid bandage on the ends of your fingers until you build a callous, so that is what I'm doing! But it was pretty cool. I was actually able to play two chords, D and A. Now I have to practice moving from one chord to another. We'll see how it goes. I figured I would post about it so that all of you can hold me accountable!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chi-Town... brrrr

While Sarah was busy cooking up potato soup, I had a weekend getaway with Matt Hood to the Chicago Auto Show. You may remember hearing about our trip to Detroit last year, well we had so much fun we decided to do it again this year but opted for Chicago. We headed up last Thursday and stayed with his parents that night (they live north of Indy, near Monticello, home of Indiana Beach). Friday morning we left for Chicago and went straight to the Auto Show. I always love checking out what's new and different. Since I just bought a new car a few months ago, this was an opportunity to confirm that I made a good choice (I did). But you know I'm always looking for our next car and I found some pretty good options while I was there. Probably my favorite car at the show was the Acura RDX. This car wasn't in production last year, so it was cool to check it all out this year. I also thought the new GMC Acadia/Saturn Outlook was a pretty dynamic vehicle. But we're set for now (that's what I had to keep telling myself).
So after the auto show, we checked into our hotel (just off Michigan Ave!) and relaxed a little, went to dinner and ended up turning in pretty early ( it had been a long day and I was trying to fight off a cold.
Saturday we did some shopping, some more relaxing, and spent the evening in Old Town for dinner, drinks, and non-stop laughter at Second City Theater. If you are ever in Chicago, go to Second City! You will NOT regret it!
Overall it was a great trip. We had a nice mix of activities and relaxation, which I was in need of. It was cold there, probably never into the double digits. But I was prepared, they don't call it the Windy City for nothing!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Day!

In addition to Valentine's Day and Gilmore's birthday, it's also Dad and Candy's anniversary. Happy anniversary!

No School, Mom!

F+W is officially closed today! I can't remember the last time I had a snow day. Yesterday I worked from home because we got a big snow/ice/rain/sleet/freezing rain storm, which made for layers of icy fun. Kevin had to work and actually was able to take the one completely clear route home so he didn't get home too late. Of course, Fifth Third is open today.

There's so much ice on the trees and power lines that 80,000 people are without power (it was 122,000 when I went to bed last night). Ours went out for about an hour twice yesterday, but luckily it came back on. They're saying some people may not have power back until tomorrow night because they have to bring crews up from the Carolinas to help out. I guess many of the problems are individual lines to houses, so they're having to literally restore power house by house. There's a line down in front of our house, but I guess it's not ours, thank god. We do have two evergreens reaching all the way down to the ground (in the pic above); they're usually about 15 feet tall! Our giant oak tree in the back has limbs hanging down past our deck. So even though it's very pretty, it's pretty scary too. A 9-year-old girl was killed by a falling tree while walking her dog yesterday before we had even half of the ice we have now, which is so, so sad. I've been very cautious about keeping Gilmore out from under the oak tree in the back. BTW, he loves the snow!

I've heard from Katie, Matt, Melissa and my mom, and everyone is fine. I'm just crossing my fingers that no trees or power lines fall around my house while I'm home today. They're expecting a lot more of that to happen. I'll keep you posted.

In other news, today is Gilmore and Valentine's 2nd birthday. For those of you who don't know, Valentine is Gilmore's biological sister/cousin (Katie's dog). And happy Valentine's Day to all!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

You Say Potato

I've received quite a bit of interest in my mom's potato soup after mentioning it at the end of my last post. Here's the "not very exact but it turned out great when I made it this way" recipe. It's pretty basic and oh so buttery!

Chop up half a small onion and 2 stalks of celery and saute them until tender in butter in a large pot.
Peel and chunk 5 medium potatoes and add them to the same pot.
Add water to the pot until it barely covers the potatoes.
Boil the potatoes until they’re tender but not mushy.
Stir in 2 cups of milk and allow it to heat through.
Stir in 1 stick of butter.
Stir in salt, pepper and seasoning salt to taste.
Allow to simmer until you’re ready to eat!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

'snow fun at all

So my 25-minute, 15-mile commute took me 6 hours last night. I'm not exaggerating; I left work at 3:30 to BEAT the snowstorm traffic and arrived home at 9:30. After 4 hours, I finally was able to exit I-75 at Hopple Street and decided to pull into Wendy's to use the restroom and get some food. As I pulled into the lot, I hit a piece of median that was detached and buried under the snow, and ended up straddling it with a flat front tire. Luckily, I was in a high-traffic area and lots of good samaritans rushed to my aide, building a snow ramp and pushing my car up over the median. Two of the men who were helping me were on-duty at CSX and were warmly dressed, and they put my spare tire on while I used the bathroom and bought them some coffee. (Irony #1: Wendy's dining room was closed, so I had to go somewhere else to use the restroom anyway. Irony #2: The flat tire incident only made up about 30 to 45 minutes of my ridiculous commute.) After that, it took me about an hour and a half to get home via Queen City with a donut for a driver's side tire. It didn't matter, though: My spedometer didn't register out of the zero bar for 5.5 of the 6 hours I was on the road.

Kevin, on the other hand, went to BW3 after work rather than venturing onto the already gridlocked roads. He left there around 8:15 and luckily could take all back roads home because the highways were still jammed up. With the aid of 4-wheel drive, he made it home in 45 minutes. I was glad he made it home quickly, though, so he could let Gilmore out and we could unwind together before bedtime. He was sweet and made me some dinner since I was starving and exhausted.

Today, Kevin worked from home and cleared our drive while I took my car to the shop. I have a big hole in my tire, but they don't think I did any other damage. I left the car there to thaw out, and they hope to have a replacement tire this afternoon. So I'm working from home this afternoon, while Kevin is at a meeting downtown. I also decided that my mom's homemade potato soup was definitely in order, so I have a big pot simmering on the stove. Hopefully, you're all safe and sound at work or home too and we have a better second half of the week.

By the way, we got about 7 inches of snow, most of it between 1:00 and 7:00. And it's about 15 degrees. So much for a mild winter.